8. Partner

Build and sustain partnerships

Many hubs get started with the hub leader facilitating most of the activities. In time, however, successful hubs establish partnerships that result in other organisations delivering many of their programs and activities.

Many support services want to extend their connections to reach more isolated families and the hub can help them do this.

Sustaining a productive long-term partnership relies on sharing responsibilities and planning, learning and adapting together.

What works – insights from hub leaders

  • Map out the interests and needs of your families before seeking out potential partnerships. That way, you can be strategic about who you partner with and why.
  • Ensure the partnership is with the organisation, not just one individual.
  • To help potential partners understand what hubs do, share our reports and philosophy statement with them.
  • Establish a formal, documented partnership with each organisation – discuss and create a Memorandum of Understanding for mutual benefit. Keep the MOU short and practical. An MOU template is available in the Resources section of our website.
  • Speak to your support coordinator and fellow hub leaders to see if they have families looking for similar things and see if there are any partnerships worth establishing as a group.

10 tips for building a successful partnership

  1. Get buy-in and support from the leaders of both partners (e.g. through a formal MOU)
  2. Identify your shared vision, purpose and goals
  3. Discuss what success will look like, collectively and for each partner
  4. Take time to develop mutual trust and a commitment to getting things done
  5. Clearly define the main points of contact, roles and responsibilities
  6. Agree on shared boundaries and how you will obtain decisions and approvals
  7. Agree on the level of financial and in-kind commitment from each partner
  8. Maintain strong lines of open communication
  9. Share knowledge, expertise and resources
  10. Make sure activities are well planned and executed

Driving healthy partnerships

St Anthony’s Primary Community Hub has established formal partnerships with over 50 community, government and philanthropic organisations. Hub leader, Lisa, says surprising opportunities often arise from developing partnerships with local organisations.

One example is the hub’s partnership with RoadSafe South East, which approached Lisa to support the delivery of its Community Car Connection program. The program helps women who are newly arrived in Australia to become safe and lawful road users and move from a learner’s permit to a full driver’s licence.

RoadSafe South East funded and delivered the 6-week program, which included information sessions from the Sheriff’s Office and Victoria Police. Child care was provided and all participants were eligible for six free driving lessons.

Lisa promoted the opportunity to the wider hubs network in Greater Dandenong, resulting in 25 participants attending from three community hubs.

Women who attended the program gained valuable skills and also established new friendships. They supported each other by minding each other’s children during the driving lessons.